JAEAR coverThe theme of the Great Game for this Special Issue of The Journal of American-East Asian Relations which focuses on colonialism and anti-colonialism in Central, East, and Southeast Asia, arises from the original Great Game, which involved a clash of the British and Russian Empires in Central Asia in the nineteenth century.   There are several important similarities between the newer and original Great Games. Both are located in Asia, they both feature the Great Powers of Europe, and Western imperialism is a prominent feature in both cases.   However, they are also quite different.   The timeframe of the new Great Game is more recent, many of the players are new, and the approach to it has changed completely. This new Great Game covers East and Southeast Asia in addition to Central Asia.   The United States is involved in addition to Europeans and Asians. It includes the rise of nationalist ideologies and fierce battles between international capitalism and communism. And it is more interactive, cross-cultural, and gives agency to those fighting against the imperialists. This helps redefine the Great Game away from competition among the imperial powers to a Game played between the powers and their subject peoples. Because the essays in this issue focus in part on these subject peoples, this Great Game is also a story of important reformers and great reforms. This is a Great Game of ideas as well as action. Even when they failed, these reformers are important to understand because they mark the limits of reform. When reform failed to create needed change, it sometimes gave way to revolution.   Thus, revolution and the revolutionaries themselves became an important part of the new Great Game.

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